Bangladesh keen on BCIM corridor; wants removal of Indian tariffs

Kolkata, Dec 26 (IANS) Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed Friday said the formation of the four-country BCIM (Bangladesh-China India Myanmar) Corridor and removal of tariff barriers from India will boost bilateral trade between the two countries.

Bangladesh is keen on the formation of the BCIM corridor which will help the economy of Bangladesh.
“India and China are progressing fast and Bangladesh will remain friends to them. The BCIM Corridor will definitely help boost trade and networking among us and India,” Ahmed told IANS on the sidelines of 27th Industrial India Trade Fair organised by Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The BCIM corridor is a Chinese proposed trade route originating in Kunming, China and runs through Myanmar and Bangladesh to come to India.
Ahmed also called for removal of bilateral trade barriers.
“If the present situation of tariffs is removed, we can import greater quantities from India,” he said.
Although India had granted duty-free access for Bangladeshi goods into the country, exports had not risen to expected levels because of various barriers.
Currently, Bangladesh’s imports from India account for more than $5,000 billion of goods and exports are valued at more than $500 million.
“The trade is in favour of India but we don’t have any problems with that as Bangladesh is benefited from Indian imports,” Ahmed said.
According to a study from Research and Information System for Developing Countries in India, the trade potential of the corridor stands at $132 billion.
The minister further said India doesn’t accept Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution accreditations which add to the problems in export items.
“Talks are on with the concerned authorities and I am hopeful of arriving at a solution soon,” he added.